A visit to the Penn Museum provides your class the opportunity to interact with material culture from many parts of the world. We have nearly one million objects from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Oceania, ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Near East, as well as extensive photographic, film, and document archives, and a significant collection of biological specimens and remains in our Physical Anthropology collection. Penn Museum offers a variety of ways for your class to engage with its collections: Gallery Visits, Collections Study Room Visits; Storage Tours; Visits to Museum Archives, and through the Center for Analysis of Archaeological Materials. Please fill out and submit the Class Access Request Form.
I bring all my students down here, I love coming here. The methodology session that my students did last year where we recreated a tomb assemblage–the papers they wrote for that class were just spectacular! It was amazing.
Many of the Museum’s most interesting objects are currently on display. Museum galleries are open for class visits during normal public hours (Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 5 pm), or on Mondays by special request.
Gallery Visits are available for classes of all sizes, but we do ask that you fill out a Request Form to ensure that there are no conflicts with previously scheduled tours or events.
Collections Study Room
The Collections Study Room serves as a laboratory where students can examine and discuss Museum artifacts from our storerooms firsthand. Professors are encouraged to lead their students to observe, interpret, synthesize, analyze and organize our material culture in this space. The room can accommodate up to 20 students and includes 5 state-of-the-art storage cabinets, a photography station, and an interactive SMART Board, along with Academic Engagement staff to help you design your curriculum around object-based learning.
While we recommend that object-based learning works best with smaller groups, we can accommodate groups larger than 20 in other Museum classrooms.
To request a visit to the Collections Study Room, please fill out the Request Form at least three weeks in advance of your potential visit.
For more on the Collections Study Room, read our blog post, "If You Build it, They Will Come".
Most classes are best facilitated using the Collections Study Room in order to get a good up-close view of museum artifacts, but sometimes classes want to see where the objects are actually stored, and to discuss the collections from a wider perspective. These discussions can be benefitted by a tour of Collections Storage.
Because of space, storage tours are limited to 10 students at a time, and must be accompanied by a Curator or Keeper. To request a Storage Tour, please fill out the Request Form at least three weeks in advance of your potential visit.
Classes are invited to visit the Penn Museum's extensive archival collection, which includes thousands of documents, photographs, prints, and films related to the Museum's history and collections. The staff of the Penn Museum Archives is happy to discuss topics pertaining to the history of the museum, our excavations, and our holdings. A visit would include a summary of what your students might expect to find regarding your specific topic, and how to conduct archival research.
The Archives are accessible Monday to Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. To request a visit to the Archives with your class, please fill out the Request Form at least three weeks in advance of your potential visit.